Mustangs fall in Centennial Cup final to Collingwood

Hockey Canada Photo The Melfort Mustangs celebrate a goal in the Centennial Cup semi-final against the Calgary Canucks on Saturday, May 18 in Oakville, Ontario.

The Melfort Mustangs advanced all the way to the Centennial Cup Championship game on Sunday, May 19 only to fall 1-0 to the OJHL Champion Collingwood Blues in the finalat the Six Mile Sports Complex in Oakville, Ontario. 

This was the Mustangs’ second trip to the Junior A Championship and second loss. The Mustangs lost to the Vernon Vipers in 1996 when they served as host for the first Royal Bank Cup.

The game was scoreless after the first period and Collingwood led 1-0 after the second period. 

Noah Pak stopped all 23 shots he faced to record the shutout for Collingwood. 

Jack Silverman scored the lone goal for the Blues four minutes into the second period. 

The Mustangs’ James Venne made 35 saves for Melfort. 

The Mustangs finished as the second seed with the Collingwood Blues as the top seed in round robin play. 

Melfort advanced to the championship game with a 2-1 win over the Calgary Canucks on Saturday, May 18. 

The Mustangs overcame a goalmouth scramble by the Canucks to win the game. 

The game was tied 2-1 after the first period and Melfort led 2-1 after the second period. 

Chase Friedt-Mohr and Ryan Duguay scored for the Mustangs. 

Ty Hipkin responded for the Canucks. 

Venne made 27 saves for the Mustangs; Julian Molinaro made 22 saves for Calgary.

In the other semi-final the Collingwood Blues defeated the Miramachi Timberwolvces 5-2 on Saturday, May 18. 

Collingwood led 2-0 after the first period and 4-1 after the second period. 
Dylan Hudon, Sam Lockyer, Ethan Facchina scored for Collingwood, Jack Rimmer had a pair of goals including a game sealing empty net goal in the third period for the Blues. 

Elliot Robert and Ludovic Dufort responded for the Timberwolves. 

Pak made 30 saves for the Blues; Adam Rouleau made 36 saves for Miramachi. 

The Mustangs closed out the round robin with a 3-1 win over the host Oakville Blades on Wednesday, May 15. 

The game was tied 1-1 after the first period and the Mustangs led 2-1 after the second period. 

Logan Belton had a pair of goals for the Mustangs and Kaleb Binner added the other Melfort goal. 

Luke Johnston scored the only Blades’ goal shorthanded in the first period. 

Kristian Coombs made 29 saves for Melfort; Gavin McCarthy made 24 saves for Oakville. 

Melfort continued their round robin with a 5-3 win over the Sioux Lookout Bombers on Tuesday, May 14. 

The Bombers led 2-0 after the first period and the game was tied 3-3 after the second period. 

Danton Cox and Ryan Duguay each had a pair of goals for Melfort; Tye Evans added the other Mustangs’ goal. 

Owen Riffel, Alex Lucas and Connor Burke responded for Sioux Lookout. 

Venne made 19 saves for Melfort; Jack Osmond made 33 saves for the Bombers. 

The Mustangs Leith Olafson was named the Best Defender for the 2024 Centennial Cup on Sunday, May 19.